The Palazzo Pretorio is located in the Via dei Pileati in Arezzo. It consists of several buildings joined into one large complex. The coats of arms on the facade show the importance of the palace during the Middle Ages.
Palazzo Pretorio Arezzo
Address, opening times and entrance fee
The address of the Palazzo Pretorio is Via dei Pilati – 52100 Arezzo. (The building takes up an entire street side.) Phone: 0575 22849. Opening hours (2021): From 08.30 to 19.30. Entrance fee: Not known.
History and description
The Palazzo Pretorio was actually created around the beginning of the 15th century, by uniting the buildings of several aristocratic families, including the Albergotti, the Sassoli and the Lodomeri. These families were all on the side of the Guelphs. The Guelphs supported the Pope, the Ghibellines the Emperor.
One of its two original towers was pulled down during one of the numerous restorations to which the palace has been subjected over the centuries.
Until 1290, the Palazzo Pretorio was the seat of the Capitano del Popolo, a sort of intermediate figure between the nouveau riche merchants and artisans and the traditional nobility, represented by the so-called Podestà.
The coats of arms adorning the façade were attached there between the 14th and 18th centuries. They belonged to the various families that represented the Capitani del Popolo, the Podestà and later the Florentine commissioners who had oversight over Arezzo.
From the 15th century the building served for awhile as a prison. During a restoration at the beginning of the 20th century, however, all prison cells were removed and the building has been returned to its original state.
At present, the Palazzo Pretorio houses, among others, the Library Città di Arezzo. Its most beautiful rooms are the atrium, the former chapel and the council chambers.
What to see
On the façade of the building you can see several coats of arms of both members of the Podestà and of the various “Captains” and other dignitaries who sat in the building between the 14th and 18th centuries.
On the left side of the corridor you can see an ancient chapel with fragments of an ancient “Annunciation of the Lord” (Annunciazione).
In a small room on the first floor there is a tabernacle with a 14th century “Madonna and Child”.
The corner room on the second floor has a beautiful 15th century wooden ceiling.